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The Century Museum and Collectors Association         Dutchess County Fairgrounds                                               6636 Route 9                                                                Rhinebeck, NY 12572

The Century Museum and Collectors Association Dutchess County Fairgrounds 6636 Route 9 Rhinebeck, NY 12572

The Century Museum and Collectors Association Dutchess County Fairgrounds 6636 Route 9 Rhinebeck, NY 12572

(845) 876-4000

https://centurymuseum.wixsite.com/home

https://www.dutchessfair.com/explore/fair-features/

Open: When the fairgrounds are open Spring, Summer and Fall for events

Admission: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

The Century Museum Village inside the Dutchess County Fairgrounds

When the Dutchess County Fairgrounds are open for the season for big events in the Spring, Summer and Fall, the fairgrounds open their historical museums that are located on the property. These include the School House Museum and the Train Station Museum and the when the volunteers are there the Dutchess County Volunteer Firemen’s Museum. The main museum is the Century Museum Village, a look at rural life in Dutchess County at the turn of the last century.

The Schoolhouse Museum in the Century Museum Village

The Train Station Museum at the Century Museum Village

The Century Museum Village gives an interesting look of the changes in life in rural communities all over the United States until the start of WWII. Farming communities had their own way of life, their own clubs and organizations and traditions that were different from City residents. Life on the farm was productive but hard work. As time rolled on, modern conveniences found their way to these communities but as we see by all the machinery, there was still a lot of work to done.

As you progress through the different displays and dioramas, you can see how life improved over time. Progress swept through these communities between WWI and WWII and with the spread of the second industrial revolution after WWII and the change of the consumer market. The advent of the modern highways, the newly built suburbs and movement out of the cities changed these regions even more.

The entrance of the museum and the various dioramas

The museum is lined with different displays of life in the rural community and the advancements made in these communities between about 1880-1930.

The Advancement in farming practices and equipment

Ice block industry for refrigeration

The household for the farmhouse wife started to become easier with new machinery to help around the house. Modern ways of washing clothes, cooking food and cleaning the house started to make life a bit easier in the household. This left time for a social life and to tend to other things around the house.

The Modern Conveniences of the home

The modern household items to make life easier from 1870-1929

The modern kitchen before electricity came out to the country was still run by coal and wood. Modern electricity would not start until after WWI and even then was not available to everyone. Cooking and washing had gotten easier but still required some work on a everyday basis.

The Kitchen in the Country

The home decor had changed after the Civil War to WWI with the changes in mass production and industrialization. Furniture, rugs, lamps and pictures had become available in all makes and sizes for sale both through catalogs and General stores or maybe a trip to the City to a Department store. People were able to furnish their homes nicer due to mass production and changes in quality of home furnishings.

The Rural Bedroom

Bedrooms have not changed much since then

The idea of the Parlor is equivalent to our modern Living Room. It is usually the room that all socializing is done in, where the family’s best furniture and knick-knacks were placed. It was the nicest room in the house.

The Rural Parlor

The finest home furnishes and the pride of the home was displayed in the parlor.

Both inside and outside the home there would be changes in the way people lived over a fifty year period. There would be changes in plumbing, carpentry and printing. Modernization would change the way people did their jobs and the way they interacted with their customers.

Modern Machinery

A better way to chop wood

Modern pump processes

Shopping was beginning to change after the Civil War as well. The days of people making everything at home was not longer necessary as more and more consumer items became available. Clothing, dishes, toys and hardware could be bought at the General store along with prepared and bakery items. It made life for the rural housewife easier.

The General Store

Prepared items in the General Store

The bakery items and things for sale at the General Store

Quilting has always been a social affair with women meeting and gossiping while working on projects on their own or one big project for the home.

Women working together making quilts and sewn items for the home.

Crocheting for the home

Use of Looms for clothing and rugs

Modern printing took a turn as more modern machines made it easier to produce printing items for playbills, newspapers and magazines. The end of the WWI our modern magazines were being created. The way trades were changing more modern equipment was being used in every industry.

The Printing Press as things start to automat

The Clock Maker

Wood Harvesting

Transportation continued to improve as we moved from the horse and buggy to the modern carriage to the automobile. Improvements continued when mass production started with the Model T Ford and just kept improving. Still even today we like the idea of horse drawn carriages and sleigh rides as a traditional part of our past that we like to maintain especially during the holidays.

Horse Drawn carriages and Model T’s

The School House Museum:

The Modern School has not changed much since its rural past. I just think you can’t hit a student with a ruler anymore and I could not see a student with a Dunce cap in today’s politically correct world. The blackboard has not gone out of style as well as a teacher teaching the next generation.

The One Room School House Museum

The school room set up still remains the same to a certain point.

I don’t think would happen to the modern student

The One Room School House set up.

As the museum shows us, somethings have changed and some things remain the same. At some point, we did things right.

Day Two Hundred and Eight: Private Members Museum nights at the Met and the Museum of the City of New York and American Museum of Natural History November 29th, December 2nd and 12th, 2021

Day Two Hundred and Eight: Private Members Museum nights at the Met and the Museum of the City of New York and American Museum of Natural History November 29th, December 2nd and 12th, 2021

Members Nights are one of the best features that you can enjoy at any museum.

This is the benefit of joining a museum as a member!

mywalkinmanhattan

I put my walk of the Garment District on hold as many of the museums are having their Private Members nights before the holidays get into the full swing. It gives the members a chance to really enjoy the museums before the City gets crazy with tourists and people are beginning to return to the City.

Metropolitan Museum of Art at 1000 Fifth Avenue

https://www.metmuseum.org/

My first event that I attended was “The Met After Hours” event. It was a well-attended event that members were able to explore the first floor at their own leisure for three hours.

The Invitation to the Met

https://www.metmuseum.org/

It really was a wonderful night. First it was a warm and clear evening and you could see the stars because it gets dark at 5:00pm. We as members got to the museum before 5:00pm and waited in a long line by the Member’s Entrance on…

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Old Paramus Reformed Church                                              660 East Glen Avenue                                                          Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Old Paramus Reformed Church 660 East Glen Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Old Paramus Reformed Church

660 East Glen Avenue

Ridgewood, NJ  07450

(201) 444-5933

http://www.oldparamus.org/

http://oldparamus.org/home

https://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey.com/new_jersey_revolutionary_war_sites/towns/ridgewood_nj_revolutionary_war_sites.htm

Open: Please check the website for full hours

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46772-d25252234-Reviews-Old_Paramus_Reformed_Church-Ridgewood_New_Jersey.html

The Old Paramus Reformed Church at 660 East Glen Avenue

I have toured the Old Paramus Reformed Church at 660 East Glen Avenue in Ridgewood, NJ many times during the year. I have been on cemetery walks and talks during the summer. I have had Christmas services at the church during the Epiphany. I have also toured the grounds during Halloween when the Ridgewood Historical Society had lead tours at the church.

Signage from Route 17

During the Christmas holiday season I was so busy that I was not able to visit my local church. So when I was able to celebrate the Epiphany,  I visited the Old Dutch Reformed Church in Ridgewood, NJ. The Church is one of the oldest in both Bergen County, NJ and the State of New Jersey. It is especially beautiful during the holidays. I love coming here because it just reminds you of Christmas and what a church should look like during the holidays. It looks like a Currier & Ives woodcut during the holiday season. The congregation does a nice job decorating it.

Paramus Reformed Church III

The entrance to the Old Paramus Reformed Church at Christmas time

It really was a nice service with music, the choir singing Christmas hymns and a bell service. It reminded me of my years at the Dutch Reformed Church in Woodstock, NY when I celebrated Christmas there. The whole church was decorated in holly and garland with Christmas trees in the corners and white candles lit in the corner.

Paramus Reformed Church

The Inside of the Old Paramus Reformed Church for the holidays

The interior of the church during Epiphany services 2022

The start of the Epiphany Services January 8th, 2022

The Choir singing during church services at the Epiphany services

The beautiful decorations at Christmas time at the Paramus Reformed Church

What I liked after the service was over was that everyone walked up to me to greet me. I was one of the younger people in the church and I guess that they were happy to see some young blood. The congregation is so welcoming as I think they want newer members to join and I have to say that the services there are very inspiring and though provoking.

I find that message very positive and very contemporary in an environment that may seem old-fashioned to some. It is called manners, curtesy and a sense of spiritualism that is lacking in the world today. They make the church so welcoming again.

Paramus Reformed Church at nighttime during Christmas 2022

Paramus Reformed Church during night time Christmas services

Nativity scene at the Paramus Reformed Church during Christmas 2022 at night

The Nativity scene during the day

The services there are very nice and I thought the church with its wooden benches and older architecture made the service even more special. It was a combination of the decoration, the music, the songs and the friendliness of the congregation that made the last day of the 12 Days of Christmas special for me.

I had also been to the church a few years prior for a private cemetery walk through the back part of the church looking at the old tombstones, The church is the burial place of many of Bergen County’s original settlers so the headstones are very old. Some of the tombstones were made of sandstone and the other of shale. Many had not survived the weather after all these years.

The cemetery at the Old Paramus Reformed Church is an interesting place

The interesting part of the pre-Halloween walk was that the tour guide from the Ridgewood Historical Society told us the reason the cemetery was shaped the way it was today. The cemetery was placed around the original church and when the new church was built in 1800, the newer part of the cemetery was created. It is interesting to walk amongst the graves and look at all the names of the original families of Bergen County that included the Haring’s, Zabriskie’s, Terhune’s, Blauvelt’s, Van Ripper’s and Demarest’s.

The cemetery at the Old Paramus Reformed Church

The cemetery guide at the Old Paramus Reformed Church

If you get a chance to tour the church or the grounds you will know the reason why this is such a special church. Maybe it was the church’s rich history in Bergen County.

Paramus Reformed Church II

The History of the Old Paramus Reformed Church of Ridgewood, NJ:

The Old Paramus Reformed Church has a rich past. The congregation was formed in the year 1725. During the American Revolution, the Paramus Church was the site of  a Continental Army military post for four years during which clashes between American and British forces tool place. It was also in the original church building that  General George Washington held a session of the court-martial of General Charles Lee who disobeyed order at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778.  Washington had his headquarters here at the church a total of ten times during various days from 1778-1780.

Other noted Revolutionary War figures such as Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette, Anthony Wayne, Richard Henry Lee and Aaron Burr also were here from time to time during the war. From early colonial times, slaves were members of the church congregation, the upper galleries on both sides being designed for their use during services.

The present church building was built in 1800. An interesting feature is that the pews are numbered. The members of earlier days rented them on an annual basis. The most expensive were numbers 50-57 at $52.00 per year while the least expensive were numbers 38-100 at $4.00 per year> Needless to say, the less expensive pews are at the rear of the sanctuary.

On each side of the pulpit, there are three pews placed at right angles to the rest of the pews in the church. These were reserved for the Elders and Deacons (on the left and right respectively). These persons collectively are known as the Consistory, which is the governing board of the church. It was their duty to sit in these pews each Sabbath with their Bibles and copies of the day’s sermons to check on the “Domine” as to his conduct of the service as well as sticking to his sermon!

That tradition (as to seating) was kept alive for many years in Old Paramus by members of the Consistory who sat in the first pew facing the pulpit each Sunday. The only similar practice in use today is that the Elders serving Communion sit in the first rows on either side of the center aisle.

The decorated organ pipes in the rear of the chancel (choir loft) behind the pulpit date back to 1892. In that year, they were installed when the church received the gift of a new organ from a congregation member.

Paramus Reformed Church VI

The inside of the Old Paramus Reformed Church

At the top of the arch the pulpit, there is a Dove of Peace. The dove is made of wood and is hand-carved. The exact date of origin of the dove is unknown. One authority claims that, “The bird is an eagle and was a donation by Dr. Garrett D. Banta in 1800.” Records from the Consistory minutes read: 1874, August 3rd: Resolved that the Consistory thankfully recognize the kindness of Mrs. Catherine Wessella for repairing and regilding the Dove, which has been a part of the decoration of the old church.

There are three flags on the pulpit-the American flag, the Christian flag and the flag of The Netherlands, the last representing our Dutch heritage. In a similar vein, for many years the Dutch flag was flown under the American flag on the staff in front of the church. Today only the American flag is flown on the flag pole.

There are several plaques on the inside walls of the church. Some honor the ministers and others honor the various Consistories since 1725. Another just inside the front door notes that this church has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In display cases you will find various bits of memorabilia concerning our history.

When attending Old Paramus Reformed Church, you will have come to a warm and comfortable historic church to your whole being.

On the church campus, you will find modern Educational Building which houses the church offices and facilities need for Christian nurture. Another building is the one-room church like schoolhouse. This building houses the Ridgewood Historical and Preservation Society and is known as The Schoolhouse Museum. It was built in 1872 and was used as a school until 1905. It contains many items of historical note to this area. Make it a point to visit this museum during visiting hours. You should find it to be a very interesting and reward visit.

The signage of the historical landmark status

So what kind of church is Old Paramus Reformed Church? It is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, the oldest Protestant denomination with a continuous ministry in America. The first church was established in New York City, then known as New Amsterdam in 1628. The Collegiate Churches presently represent the origins of that original Congregational. The best known is Marble Collegiate Church, which is where Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was the minister for fifty-two years. The Reformed Church in America (RCA) is an historic denomination coming out of the Reformation when the Church was “re-formed” and re-organized according to the teachings of the Word of God, the Bible. The Reformed Church of is Biblical in doctrine, semi-liturgical in worship. Presbyterian in government and evangelical in practice.

This year, Old Paramus Reformed Church celebrates 295 years of God’s Loving Spirit. Come join us next Sunday at 10:00am. We would be most happy to see you and you will surely feel rewarded for the experience.

(Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Church’s history and I give them full credit for the information).

The Greater Cape May Historical Society                         6531/2 Washington Street                                                      Cape May, NJ 08204

The Greater Cape May Historical Society 6531/2 Washington Street Cape May, NJ 08204

The Greater Cape May Historical Society

6531/2 Washington Street

Cape May, NJ  08204

(609) 884-9100

http://www.capemayhistory.org/

http://www.capemayhistory.org/about-us.html

Open: Colonial House Museum hours:

Wednesday-Saturday, 1:00pm-4:00pm June 15th-September 15th

Open during Victorian Weekend in October. Special exhibits at Halloween and Christmas.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46341-d286395-Reviews-The_Colonial_House-Cape_May_Cape_May_County_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

What an interesting visit I had to the Cape May Historical Society’s Memucan Hughes Colonial House. This tiny museum is only open between June 15th-September 15th and after that only for special events.

It is an fascinating little home that was built somewhere between 1730 to 1760. The original house no one is too sure if it had been built for the original owner or had been there and added on to as the records for the age of the house are unclear.

The home consists of two small downstairs room filled with period furniture and decorations and there is an upstairs with three small rooms that is closed to the public. The front room Mr. Hughes used as a tavern that he kept open until almost the 1800’s. He had catered to a growing whaling industry that needed some form of entertainment in this quiet town that was isolated from the rest of the state.

The front of the house is decorated as tavern to greet guests. There were tables filled with games and items that would have catered to the trade but still you knew you were in someone’s home. There are vintage card tables, board games and some household items.

Cape May Historical Society II.jpg

The Cape May Historical Society at 653 1/2 Washington Streeet

The back room is a closed off kitchen with a fireplace and spinning wheels and wash tubs, all the things to run a household. There were also children’s toys, kitchen and garden gadgets and family items to personalize the house.

The Hughes mansion in the Victorian times sits right in front of the old house and is now a B & B

The Hughes family lived in the house until the Victorian age and then they built the house on the front of the property and moved the smaller house to the back of the grounds. The house had been moved three times since its original location on the main road a few blocks away.

The tour itself is only about a half hour long and the guides do a nice job explaining the history of the house. On the gloomy day I visited, the museum was very busy with people visiting the house and with its connection to colonial history and the popularity of the musical, “Hamilton”, it is making it a popular destination when visiting Cape May.

History of the Museum:

The sign outside the house

The mission of the Greater Cape May Historical Society is to collect, preserve, document, interpret and share the history of Greater Cape May and to enhance the appreciation of that history through the Society’s historic site, The Colonial House Museum, collections, research, exhibitions, educational programs and publications.

The Hughes family home during the Christmas Holiday season 2022

All are invited to visit the Colonial House Museum, a 1700’s era house. The house was moved to its present site next to City Hall when the Hughes Family built the grand Victorian that is now a Bed & Breakfast.

The Hughes family home of the 1700’s

Come visit us and see the House as it was with a Tavern Room and a Common Room when it was owned by Memucan Hughes. On display are period furnishings and other period household items.

The Hughes family home of the late 1800’s

The Society presents an annual exhibit dedicated to an unique chapter of Greater Cape May History along with special events for Halloween and Christmas.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Greater Cape May Historical Society’s pamphlet and I give them full credit for it. Please call the above number for more information and selected openings.